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Douglas Wolk

Douglas Wolk writes about pop music and comic books for Pitchfork, the New York Times, Billboard, and elsewhere. His most recent book is the graphic novel Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two, with artist Ulises Farinas. 

“Zero Tolerance for Instruments!”
There is a tiny but persistent strain of a cappella punk rock: nothing could be more D.I.Y. than the sounds of the human body. I'll offer a brief history of voice-only punk, beginning with Furious Pig, the North London squat-punks who ditched their instruments and adopted variations on Balinese kecak vocal techniques in the late ‘70s. (They toured with the likes of the Slits and the Fall; recorded a Peel session; and released an EP on Rough Trade, I Don't Like Your Face.) I'll also touch on the a cappella punk recordings made by B. George (founder of the Archive of Contemporary Music), the Finnish one-man band Paska, the squatcore act Zero Content, and others. And I'll pay special attention to Jud Jud, the awesomely ridiculous faux-straightedge-hardcore band (they released 18 songs on two 7-inch singles) whose insistence on total conceptual purity made them forswear not only instruments but most lyrics other than "jud jud jud jud jud."

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